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US to Resume Direct Aid to Cambodia

U.S. officials say Washington has lifted a ten-year ban on development aid to the Cambodian government.

The United States imposed the ban in 1997 after Prime Minister Hun Sen removed his co-prime minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, in a violent coup.

During the past decade, the U.S. channeled its aid to Cambodia through non-governmental organizations.

The end of the ban comes at a time of warming relations between Cambodia and the U.S. Earlier this month, an American navy frigate docked at the Cambodian deep-sea port of Sihanoukville in the first such visit for three decades.

Since 1970, Cambodia has suffered through civil warfare, genocide and foreign occupation (by Vietnam). It is one of Asia's poorest countries.

In 2005, the U.S. firm Chevron discovered oil off Cambodia's coast. Companies from France, South Korea, China, and Japan are also seeking licenses from Cambodia to explore for oil.